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1013 8th Avenue
Seattle, WA, 98104
United States


The mission of Seattle Presbytery is to participate, in word and deed, in God’s transforming work through the Gospel of Jesus Christ: †by strengthening the witness and mission of our congregations and members and by building strong partnerships with each other and the larger Christian community.

Events (Archive)

Filtering by Tag: Book

Free eBook: Renew52

Seattle Presbytery

50+ Ideas to Revitalize Your Congregation from Leaders under 50

Renew 5250+ Ideas to Revitalize Your Congregation from Leaders under 50is a free e-book, edited by David J. Lose, that features short essays from 54 Christian leaders in 15 different traditions. The authors are guided by the conviction that congregations are the primary place where the Spirit is at work for the renewal of the church. Pick one or read them all—and revitalize your congregation.

The Spirit is moving in exciting ways. We are on the cusp of exciting, if unpredictable, renewal. In spite of the well-documented story of mainline decline, there is a lot of growth, a lot of potential, and a lot of hope in our congregations as well.

Each of the authors in this e-book has had her or his share of challenges and setbacks, but each has also learned from those and continues to dream, work, plan, and lead. And this book pulls together more than fifty of their best ideas for congregational renewal.

It isn’t very often that a book can change the church. Yes, ideas can shape lives, even change practices. But when was the last time a book changed your congregation?

"Will of God" Latest Book from Rev. Vern Elgin

Seattle Presbytery

THE WILL OF GOD: Re. The Presbyterian Church (USA) Book of Common Worship entitles the latest book written by The Reverend Vernon G. Elgin, Ph. D. The Publisher is AuthorHOUSE. The Publication surveys, collates and critiques the more than one-hundred fifty uses and references to the word "will" and its synonyms in the Denomination's worship service book. The Preface to the BOOK OF COMMON WORSHIP defines the difference between a Service book and a Directory for Worship thus: "The church's service book...provides orders and texts for worship. It is in harmony with the directory and is approved for voluntary use."

Vernon's WILL includes an Appendix of the uses of the word in the liturgical material of the BOOK OF COMMON WORSHIP, and of references to their sources. The book's six chapters are embraced by a Pro- and a Postlegomenon. The Chapter titles bear the names: Defined, Discerned, Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit, Done and Disturbed.

The Book may prove helpful to Pastors, congregational worship leaders and persons interested and involved in liturgical organization and renewal. The book at $10.95 a copy may be purchased through major book sellers. The softcover ISBN number is: 978-1-4634-4904-9. 

Vernon is an honorably retired member of the Presbytery of Seattle. A clergy of sixty years ordination, he has had a career primarily as a Parish Pastor in different locations in the USA. In his retirement he has served as a Pastor and a Professor in New Zealand, Indonesia, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Malawi Africa. He is a graduate of the Pittsburgh (Xenia) Theological Seminary and holds a Ph.D degree from University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He and his wife Marjorie, also a graduate of the Pittsburgh Seminary, live in Kent WA. .  

Spirituality Book Festival - Seattle U

Seattle Presbytery

Search for Meaning Book Festival 2012
Saturday, February 4th | 9am - 5pm | Seattle University campus
Free and Open to the Public
Seating is limited; regsitration required:

Over 40 authors surrounding the human search for meaning on issues of spirituality, faith and social justice. The diverse group of guest authors, both men and women, represent a range of belief systems and faith traditions, including but not limited to: Christian (Catholic & every Protestant denomination, including non-denominational and Evangelical), Spiritual but not religious, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Unitarian Universalist, Mormon and Agnostic.

- 2 Keynote Speakers: 
   Mary Oliver - Pulitzer Prize winning poet and author
   & James Oliver, S.J. - NY Times best selling author and official chaplain of the Colbert Report
- A Mormon and Evangelical Dialogue
- 4 general sessions with a pick between 40+ authors on a variety of topics
- Artists and musicians expressing their search for meaning (live)
- Interactive expression areas
- Book-signing
- Bookstore, provided by our partners: Elliott Bay Book Company & Seattle University Bookstore
Please follow us, and spread the word:

Introduction to Areté Again

Seattle Presbytery

Continued from the main page...

I have recently written a book called Areté Again: Missional Adventures in Theology and Life. Areté means excellence in character and life. It is the move from the community of the Trinity to a life of virtue, to a life well lived. It is the culmination of virtue in one’s life. I wrote this book for three reasons. Part One detail’s my descent into chronic pain and addiction and my ascent to character and virtue—areté again. It was important for me to remember and honor so many people and places that leaned into one another through the joy and tears of life and ministry. My motivation was to encourage honest conversation in community that can lead to freedom, truth, light, grace and a life that flourishes. In order to do this Part Two plunges us into a fresh understanding of the Trinity as a social God in perichoretic movement. John of Damascus first introduced this word into theological discourse in the seventh century and its etymology comes from two words: peri, meaning around, and choresis meaning dance or chorus line. This word literally means a circle dance. Jürgen Moltmann popularized this word for our day through his work The Trinity and the Kingdom of God. In order to move from where I was to where I desired to be, I needed a God that was bigger than my stuff. I needed to rediscover, with a second naïveté, a God that is actually beyond all measure. Similarly, we need to rediscover the infinite Trinity in our midst today as people, pastors, and presbyters. It is an attempt at a way of thinking beyond the polarizations and the political stalemates of right or left ideology—to catapult us into a broad and open third way that gives us the space to become human again. So I share with you an excerpt from my book:

Theology matters. Our God images are important. We all have them. Constructions in our minds of who, how and what God is like. We are all theologians, whether or not we think in those categories. These images form us, shape us, mold us, and even have the power to transform us, diminish us or constrict us. These physical and emotional abstractions drive our character and our character plays themselves out in the way we do life, in the way we do ministry, and in the way we live out our vocatio, our calling. They impinge on the way we raise our children, compete on the field, and spend our money; what websites we click on in our offices late at night; who we lay next to in bed; who we copulate with; and what we ingest into our bodies. It all matters, immensely so, these God or no-God images. These images of the holy or not-so-holy drive and fuel our virtue, and our virtue is what is seen as we live our lives in the politic public.

I suggest that our views of God have very real and practical implications in our everyday lives. They trespass in the way we discipline our children, in the way we care for ourselves, in the way we talk to other people, and in the way we care for creation. All too often, our God images are un-holy Trinities  that are really no god at all. These images are made more in our own likeness than in the image. Our God is too small. Too white, too blond-haired and too blue-eyed. Too American, too powerful, too domesticated, too progressive, too conservative, too religious, too wealthy, too nice, too mainstream, too hip, too popular, too anything we desire, too misogynistic paternal, too emasculated feminine, too heterosexual, too homosexual, too much like Santa Claus, too cozy, too congenial, too perfect, too Hallmark sentimental, too friendly, too awful, too much of our own preferences, too modern, too static, too confined, too managed, too geometric, too vengeful, too anything goes, too stoic, too human, too much of a customer service representative for the way we think the world ought to be, too spiritual, too boring, too rule-oriented, too driven by four spiritual laws, too dualistic, too free, too narcissistic, too, too, too, too. I think that you are starting to get the idea. 

What about a God who is mysterious and wonderful and ferocious for me, you, us, and the world? What about a God who is social, passionate, communal, missional, one in three and three in one, dancing, delightful, extravagant, on the margins, from the streets? What if? 

Part Three explores what it means to edit, rescript and reconstruct our lives in a way that allows us to flourish in areté again. It is an exposé on the vices we so love and the virtues that we are called to live. The classic seven deadly sins are given contemporary names and I offer a trinity of virtues as the antidote for each of these vices. I offer compelling and honest stories from life in ministry, from the traumatic to the hilarious to the inspiring, in such a way that we are guided into areté again. I pull from theologians, philosophers and artists of our past and present to weave a narrative that strikes a balance between social justice and steadfast faith. I offer candid observations and reverently irreverent insights that will make you think differently about the Trinity, about salvation, about life, ministry and about grace.

We are all perfectly imperfect—this is why we need Jesus. It is why I need Jesus in my life. Christus Victor! It is my prayer that we would be honest with ourselves in all manner of theology, life and praxis. It is my prayer that we would be open to conversation, growth and dialogue about the vexations before us in a complex social situation. It is my prayer that we would sit with our internal angst holding loosely our position long enough to listen to people. Perhaps we may grow comfortable being uncomfortable and allow our current reformation to bring light from shadows. The Protestant reformation did not resolve itself over night and neither will we but we can commit to a journey together that moves beyond polarizations and sentimentalities. I am confident that after the shadows there is light. That is Good Friday to Easter Sunday, which is our faith, which is our hope, which is our story, which is our future!! God help us all!

At this point I could offer endorsements from good folks around the country who have read my book, but I will spare you the self-promotion. If you would like more information you can visit my website at My website features a two minute book trailer video clip, a link to a KOMO 4 Television news interview that I did with Mary Nam and other printed and radio interviews. I would love to speak at any venue you might deem appropriate and of course would love for you to pick up a copy of my book. You can find the book on my website, Amazon, or any local bookseller can order a copy for you. 

Post Tenebrae Lux !!!

Tobin Wilson

Pastor, Lake Burien Presbyterian Church

Friending: Real Relationships in a Virtual World

Seattle Presbytery

Facebook, cell phone texting, and other new ways of staying connected have created a lot of opportunities, as well as challenges, for friends today. Lynne has written a book title Friending: Real Relationships in a Virtual World, about friendships in our time, drawing on interviews with dozens of people ages 12-85 about their friendships and the impact of new communication technologies. She discusses friendship patterns today in the light of God's call to be people who show love, drawing on 1 Corinthians 13 and Colossians 3.

Lynne is the author of numerous books and a minister member of Seattle Presbytery. She teaches pastoral theology in New Zealand. Check out her website,, for information about Friending and her other books.

To look at the book on Amazon, click here. You can also visit Lynne's website to read interviews and watch YouTube videos describing what she learned from writing the book.

Waymarkers - A Book By A Madrona Member

Seattle Presbytery

Pilgrimage.  Journey.  Sacred.  Thin Space.  Re-create. Iona, Scotland.  Do these words call to you?  They did to Madrona Presbyterian member, Mary DeJong, who has journeyed to Iona, Scotland many times both on personal pilgrimage and as a retreat leader for vocational discernment retreats for university students.

Waymarkers - a collection of prayers, poems and reflections - is a result of Mary’s own personal pilgrimage to Iona in 2009.  The vision for the Waymarkers journal is to aid the pilgrim in preparing a sacred time where both a journey and a place will guide the traveler to greater connectivity with self, others and the Holy.  By engaging the ancient discipline of pilgrimage, the journey will require the traveler to practice listening for the voice of God.  Waymarkers was written to guide and engage this sacred act of listening while on the journey of a lifetime.

For more information and/or to purchase the book, please visit